Born a slave in Virginia in 1856, Booker T. Washington rose in prominence to become black America's foremost spokesman. This is the dramatic autobiographical account of Washington's struggle to succeed and prosper in a country that refused to acknowledge his existence. From his fight for an education to his founding of the world-renowned Tuskegee Institute, Up From Slavery is one of the most significant and defining works in American literature.
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time
In Up from Slavery, Washington recounts the story of his lifefrom slave to educator. The early sections deal with his upbringing as a slave and his efforts to get an education. Washington details his transition from student to teacher, and outlines his own development as an educator and founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. In the final chapters of Up From Slavery, Washington describes his career as a public speaker and civil rights activist.
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Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was born a slave on a Virginia farm. Later freed, he headed and developed the Tuskegee Institute and became a leader in education. Widely considered a spokesman for his people, he emphasized social concern in three books as well as his autobiography.
Louis R. Harlan, born in Clay County, Mississippi, in 1922, is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Separate and Unequal (University of North Carolina Press, 1958) and of a two-volume biography of Booker T. Washington (Oxford University Press, 1972, 1983). He is the editor, with Raymond W. Smock, of The Booker T. Washington Papers (13 vols., University of Illinois Press, 1972-84). He has been awarded the Beveridge Prize, Bancroft Prize, and Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Washington.